'A good kid'
Attorney: McPherson didn't get money from forged checkPosted: Tuesday November 26, 2002 10:18 AM
Updated: Wednesday November 27, 2002 8:06 PM
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The attorney for former Florida State quarterback Adrian McPherson says his client might have had knowledge of a stolen and forged check, but that he did not get any money when it was cashed.
Attorney Grady C. Irvin Jr. said McPherson did not write, endorse or cash the stolen check, which he said was cashed for $3,500 at a Tallahassee bank.
"I represent criminals every day and I can tell you this, [McPherson] is a good kid," Irvin said. "The university's actions leaves the impression that Adrian did something wrong. People are wondering what Adrian did. It leaves it so open. I feel like I've got to salvage this kid's future."
McPherson was dismissed from the football team Monday amid reports that police planned to question him in the theft and forgery of the blank check. McPherson has not been charged with any crimes, but is expected to be questioned by Tallahassee police.
The Tallahassee Democrat reported Tuesday that the check was stolen from R&R Truck Rental. The company's owner, Dale Acosta, was expected to release a statement Tuesday about the situation.
Irvin said Florida State coach Bobby Bowden approached McPherson last Friday about his involvement with the stolen-check investigation. McPherson told Bowden what he knew, Irvin said.
McPherson was allowed to play last Saturday in Florida State's loss to North Carolina State, but Bowden decided to remove him from the team on Monday and told players McPherson had lied about the incident.
"I don't know what he did. ... It must have been pretty bad to get dismissed like this," Florida State offensive tackle Brett Williams said. "He kind of let us down."
Bowden said McPherson would remain in school and on scholarship through the end of the semester. Florida State sports information director Rob Wilson said the police investigation did not involve gambling or point shaving.
The 19-year-old McPherson will not play basketball for Florida State this season, either. Last season, he played in three games before deciding to concentrate on football. He is the only Florida prep athlete to be named "Mr. Basketball" and "Mr. Football."
Irvin said the school made a hasty judgment, especially since McPherson has not been charged with any crimes.
He likened the case to the 1999 shopping scandal involving star wide receiver Peter Warrick, a Bradenton native and now a member of the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals. Warrick was suspended, but not removed, from the team after being arrested for grand theft after paying $21.40 for clothing worth 20 times that amount at a Tallahassee department store.
"All I can say is that I wish Adrian was a Heisman Trophy candidate," Irvin said.
McPherson was 80-of-155 for 1,017 yards with 12 touchdowns and one interception in nine games this season. He was replaced by Chris Rix for the final drive in a 17-7 loss Saturday to North Carolina State.
Florida State was 3-1 in the four games McPherson started.
Rix, who said he and other teammates were "shocked" by the situation, will start on Saturday against Florida. Fabian Walker will be the backup.
"Not under these circumstances did I want to know I'm going to start the game against Florida," said Rix, who lost his starting job to McPherson after several ineffective games.
McPherson was not available for comment Monday.